In celebration of Grace Schulman being honored with the 2016 Frost Award by the Poetry Society of America, we’d like to post the opening poem from her collection: Without a Claim.
Seeing, in April, hostas unfurl like arias,
and tulips, white cups inscribed with licks of flame,
gaze feverish, grown almost to my waist,
and the oaks raise new leaves for benediction,
I mourn for what does not come back: the movie theater–
reels spinning out vampire bats, last trains,
the arc of Chaplin’s cane, the hidden doorways–
struck down for a fast-food stores; your rangy stride;
my shawl of hair; my mother’s grand piano.
How to make it new,
how to find the gain in it? Ask the sea
at sunrise how a million sparks
can fly over dead bones.
~Grace Schulman, in Without a Claim
Just back from the annual Emily Dickinson poetry marathon in Amherst where we steeped ourselves in all 1789 verses. We heard James Tate read during the concurrent Amherst Poetry Festival and savored a brilliant reading by Doug Anderson. We look forward to his new book out next year.
Two of our favorite poets, Edward Hirsch and Spencer Reece are named to the National Book Award long list. Reece’s The Road to Emmaus is highly recommended, and Hirsch’s Gabriel a tour de force. Some new titles of interest to poets: Ted Kooser’s The Wheeling Year: a Poet’s Field Book, and Hirsch’s A Poet’s Glossary . Also, just in: Louise Gluck’s Faithful and Virtuous Night...It’s a rich season for poetry.
Don’t miss our upcoming benefit reading with poets Rosalind Brenner and Pamela Kallimanis, Saturday, October 4 at 5 p.m. We’re raising money for Tupelo Press and for Canio’s Cultural Cafe. We’ll be serving refreshments; admission is $25.
Send us a short poem by a favorite poet, or one of your own for posting here.
Here’s Emily’s call :
The Poets light but Lamps —
Themselves — go out —
The Wicks they stimulate —
If vital Light
Inhere as do the Suns —
Each Age a Lens